From the Clinic (June, 2014)

posted May 30, 2015, 6:45 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated Jun 4, 2015, 3:01 PM ]
S. is a sweet 5 year old boy who has a diagnosis of Selective Mutism. Selective Mutism is a rare childhood disorder that affects approximately 1% of children. Children with Selective Mutism do not speak in public social situations, especially school. The disorder is not due to trauma or cognitive issues, but is characterized as an anxiety disorder. Because children with Selective Mutism cannot communicate effectively their language and social skills as well as their educational and emotional development are negatively impacted. 
When S. began treatment at the San Jose Scottish Rite Childhood Language Disorders Clinic he was not using language to interact with anyone outside of his home. He spoke only with his parents at his house, but nothing more. After about a month of treatment S. began using words for the first time to interact with his speech-language pathologist, Rachel. Initially, he would only whisper in her ear, but eventually he started to use his “brave” voice to talk with her. Rachel and S. talked incessantly about Power Rangers, Super Heroes and ninjas, Siri’s favorite things. 
S.’s speech and language therapy now focuses on S. using social language both inside and outside the treatment room to interact with Rachel. The goal of S.’s treatment is for him to use language to interact with others within his community, especially school. One way to do that is to gradually help S. to use language in new places with Rachel. For example, the therapy room door may be ajar during his speech session. Other therapy activities may include flying paper airplanes down the hallway while other people are present and S. must say “Go” in order to start the paper airplane race. 
S.’s progress thus far is very exciting. His mother shares in the enthusiasm for her son’s new found voice, “I’m impressed with our professional and nurturing speech and language pathologist. Rachel always shares information relevant to my son’s behavior and speech and language challenges…It’s clear to me that his behavior improves because of Rachel Sense at Scottish Rite. His talking in public started at Scottish Rite with Rachel. I hope the other families will have the same opportunities like mine…thank you very much for financial supporters. You have great big hearts for community. I believe my son will have good memory at clinic with Rachel. Hopefully, when he grows up, he would be able to contribute himself the same way.”